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Muskrats paddle past Squirrels at state 'B' baseball

Call him the Muskrat Masher, Renville County's Brock Depute brought his bat to this week's Class B state baseball tournament at Jack Brown Stadium.

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Renville County's Joseph Savelkoul delivers a pitch Thursday, June 3, 2021, at the North Dakota State Class B Boys' Baseball Tournament at Jack Brown Stadium in Jamestown. John M. Steiner / The Sun

JAMESTOWN -- Call him the Muskrat Masher, Renville County's Brock Depute brought his bat to this week's Class B state baseball tournament at Jack Brown Stadium.

The senior cleanup hitter for the Muskrats went 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles at the dish Thursday facing Central Cass in quarterfinal play, driving in four runs including a bases-clearing double off the base of the wall in left-center field in the top of the third inning.

Renville County upset the second-seeded Squirrels 7-3 and will play either LaMoure/Litchville-Marion or North Star in the state semifinals on Friday at 4:30 p.m.

"Every time on 2-0, 3-0, I pick a pitch right where I want it," Depute said. "If I get it, I swing as hard as I can and it goes."

Depute crushed a Josh Gunderson fastball approximately 360 feet to the fence in the third, tying the game at 3-3. Central Cass struck first, scoring three runs in the second, paced by a two-run triple off the bat of senior Aiden Olson-Tingelstad and a run-scoring single to shallow center by Alex Everson.

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But after three earned runs were charged to Muskrat starter Gannon Hall following 1 2/3 innings pitched, Renville County junior Joseph Savelkoul was light's out in relief.

Savelkoul tossed 5 1/3 scoreless innings with seven strikeouts to earn the win. The junior kept the Squirrels off balance with a slider/curveball combo and allowed just one hit.

"I really key on having my offspeed working for me, because when you can keep the hitter guessing they don't know what's coming, and then you have the advantage as the pitcher," Savelkoul said. "We really had a chip on our shoulder. We thought we should've got a seed, but it goes the way it goes and we came out and played today."

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Renville County's Joseph Savelkoul delivers a pitch Thursday, June 3, 2021, at the North Dakota State Class B Boys' Baseball Tournament at Jack Brown Stadium in Jamestown. John M. Steiner / The Sun

The Muskrats strung together three, two-out hits in the top of the fourth, loading the bases and scoring the go-ahead run on a Gunderson wild pitch.

Renville County plated insurance in the fifth, as a Stetson Helwig RBI single to center scored Kellan Henry from third. The Muskrats put the game away in the sixth with run-scoring hits by Gannon Hall and Dupte finding the outfield grass.

The Squirrels were limited to just two hits in the game.

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"You're not going to win too many games no matter who you're playing with two hits," Central Cass coach Dustin Maasjo said. "They hit the ball and pitched well. Their starter left early, but (Savelkoul) threw strikes.

"We just couldn't string anything together."

Depute has committed to play college baseball at Minnesota State Community and Technical College. His pair of doubles led a 12-hit Muskrat attack.

"We knew the bats would come alive," Depute said. "We haven't been tested a whole lot over in the west side of the state, but we were ready to play.

"We've had a couple tough practices, our coaches are really pushing us, and today we were able to bounce back at them and keep the momentum going."

Out of the title hunt, the Squirrels have a new goal in mind heading into Friday's consolation play at 11:30 a.m.

"Fifth place," Maasjo said. "That's what we're shooting for now."

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Aidan Olson-Tingelstad of Central Cass passes Kellan Henry (3) of Renville County at second base on his way to third for a triple Thursday, June 3, 2021, at the North Dakota State Class B Boys' Baseball Tournament at Jack Brown Stadium in Jamestown. John M. Steiner / The Sun

Renville County 7, (2) Central Cass 3

RC 003 112 0 -- 7 12 2

CC 030 000 0 -- 3 2 1

Batteries: CC, Josh Gunderson, Nicolas Martin (5) and Kam Parker. Gannon Hall, Joseph Savelkoul (2) and Stetson Helwig. W-Savelkoul. L-Gunderson.

Highlights: CC, Gunderson 4 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 10 SO, 3 BB, 94 NP; Martin 3 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 3 SO, 1 BB, 51 NP; Aidan Olson-Tingelstad 1-2, 3B, 2 RBI, R; Alex Everson 1-2, RBI, 2 BB.

RC, G. Hall 1 2/3 IP, 1 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 SO, 4 BB, 42 NP; Savelkoul 5 1/3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 7 SO, 3 BB, 74 NP; Broke Depute 2-3, 2 2B, BB, 4 RBI; Bryden Santos 2-3, 2 R, BB; G. Hall 1-4, RBI; Kellan Henry 1-3, R, BB; Jalyn Derr 3-4, 3 R.

Records: Renville Co. 24-4. Central Cass 20-5.

Savaloja is the sports lead writer for The Jamestown Sun.
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